Georgia, or Sakartvelo as it is called in the local dialect, is a country between the Asian and European continents (geographically classified in Asian countries) and a former member of the Soviet Union. It extends from the Black Sea to the Caucasus Mountains, encompassing a diverse landscape, from coastal resorts, extensive valleys of famous wine-producing vineyards, to the highest peaks of Eurasia. The history of this place dates back to the depths of the Paleolithic period. The earliest trace of wine producing was discovered here, “aged” for 8,000 years. The area is identified as the Colchis of the Argonauts of Greek mythology, with the famous “golden fleece” being an indication of its mineral wealth and technical knowledge of collection from the rivers.
At the end of the 4th century B.C., the kingdom of Iberia was founded and the characteristic alphabet was adopted. In the 4th century A.D., Christianity was established and links with the Byzantine empire are strengthened, promoting arts and culture. In the ensuing centuries of feudalism, it received invasions from the Seljuks, Mongols, Persians and eventually the Ottomans who conquered the land, annexing it to their empire.
In modern history and after the events of World War I, the Soviet Union was established with the Georgian Republic as one of the original members, until the collapse of 1991. Then, a bloody war broke out, resulting in the secession and unrecognized autonomy of Abkhazia. and South Ossetia, which resulted in a widespread refugee crisis. Conflicts continued until the crisis of 2008, with Russia actively involved, invading disputed and other Georgian territories. The country’s geopolitical position is significant, with hydrocarbon pipelines crossing its territory.
In a population of 3.7 million, the visitor will feel intimate, welcoming and will encounter kindness, friendliness and helpfulness. English is widely spoken in the capital city, but not in the countryside.
The capital Tbilisi is a great combination example between traditional and modern elements. A vibrant, cosmopolitan city with many sightseeing including lots of orthodox temples that follow the typical architecture of the area.
The next most populated cities are Batumi by the Black Sea and Kutaisi, capital of ancient Colchis. Other important ones are Mtskheta, which is the center of the Orthodox Church, and Gori, Stalin’s birthplace.
Other points of interest are Mount Kazbeg, the rocky town of Uplistsikhe, the Gudauri ski resort and for wine lovers, the great wine-producing region of Kakheti.
In the land of mythical Colchis…
February 2020. (Few days before global widespread the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic)
When you come to Tbilisi you will experience moments that you won’t forget, even if you drink a lot of excellent local wine, which does not age in barrels, but in clay pots buried in ground. After all, this place has been the cradle of winemaking since the Neolithic era, over 8000 years ago. You will eat khinkali, hand made such shaped ravioli with a variety of stuffing, you will eat khachapuri, a salty cheese pie or the egg added viariety of Adjarian khachapuri, as well as many other delicacies with influences from Greece, the Mediterranean and also Turkey and Persia…
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